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Proposal For Aiken County Groundwater Level Study

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Bruce Campbell, a hydrologist at the USGS says, “As the utilities have expanded the population’s expanded, they need more water.”

This is the Horse Creek stream gage at Highway 125 in Aiken County, SC.

It’s running about average for this time of year at just under 11 feet.

There are over 150 of these gages across Aiken County.

Most reports from those gages are on the way down.

“Probably the biggest component is less rainfall, the precipitation levels are down, but there’s also more pumping, more groundwater pumping," said Campbell.

Campbell says it’s part of natural cycle of lower precipitation rates.

“But also on top of that the population has expanded tremendously in South Carolina, too. So the demand for water has gone up," said Campbell.

Campbell and the USGS are proposing a study to prevent future water problems if the 15 year drought continues.

“It’s sort of a long term management plan to give the utilities a tool to predict what the groundwater levels will be if they continue pumping at the rates their pumping," said Campbell.

The proposed study will give them the flexibility to look into the future and plan what their resource needs will be.

Campbell says there isn’t a groundwater crisis.

But there is concern.

“The levels we do measure have dropped especially over the last 15 years and it’s been a concern to the utilities. Is that the direction we’re gonna go in for the next 50 years?" said Campbell.

Campbell says this study would be a good planning tool that will give the utilities to work together and plan with their neighbors.

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